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'Gladiator' Triumphs in the Contest for Oscar NominationsAired February 13, 2001 - 4:33 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: The Oscars: One popular film will not be in the running for best picture. Academy members might have left the "Castaway's" nomination on a desert island.
Laurin Sydney is in New York today with the movies that did make the cut today -- Laurin.
LAURIN SYDNEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Right you are, Joie.
While voters didn't cast their vote for "Castaway," the film star Tom Hanks did get the nod, and an early wake-up call from Oscar had some of Hollywood's hottest actors and actresses dusting off the old tuxedos and choosing their gowns.
Now, you may have to wait until March 25th to find out who goes home with gold, but Sherri Sylvester tells us now who is happy to hear their alarm go off this morning.
SHERRI SYLVESTER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Oscar voters gave their thumbs up to the sword-and-sandals spectacle "Gladiator" and added a page to the history books as well. While "Gladiator" goes into Oscar's arena with 12 nominations, including best picture, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh becomes the only double best director nominee with two best picture contenders: "Traffic" and "Erin Brockovich."
"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" is only the seventh foreign language film in Oscar history to get the best picture nod, one of 10 nominations for the Mandarin Chinese martial arts fantasy.
The Academy indulged its sweet tooth, adding "Chocolat" to the best picture race.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "THE CONTENDER")
JOAN ALLEN, UNIDENTIFIED ACTRESS: I just can't respond to the accusations because it's not OK for them to be made.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: In the best actress category, Joan Allen picks up her third nomination, this time for "The Contender," this time charmed. ALLEN: Almost as soon as the nomination happened, I flashed back to when I was like 14 years old doing the first play that I had ever wanted to do. And I wanted to be an actress since I was a kid.
SYLVESTER: It's an open-and-shut case for Julia Roberts in "Erin Brockovich." Count Laura Linney in for "You Can Count on Me." Juliette Binoche gets her just desserts for "Chocolat."
For her portrayal of a drug addict in "Requiem for a Dream," Ellen Burstyn picks up her sixth Oscar nomination, 20 years after nomination No. 5.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "REQUIEM FOR A DREAM")
ELLEN BURSTYN, ACTRESS: I'm lonely. I'm old.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURSTYN: 20 years ago when I was nominated, I was more nervous about it than I am now. But it's not because it has less meaning, but I guess because it's in perspective.
SYLVESTER: Ed Harris' picture of painter Jackson Pollock in "Pollock" brings him into the best actor race. Add Geoffrey Rush for his turn as the Marquis de Sade in "Quills," Javier Bardem as writer Reinaldo Arenas in "Before Night Falls," and two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks, the sole survivor in "Cast Away."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "CAST AWAY")
TOM HANKS, ACTOR: I have made fire.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SYLVESTER: Russell Crowe gets into the best actor arena with "Gladiator." His co-star, Joaqin Phoenix, takes supporting honors. Benicio Del Toro crosses over with "Traffic." Jeff Bridges is one of "The Contenders" along with Brockovich boss Albert Finney. William Dafoe is recognized with supporting actor honors for his unrecognizable role in "Shadow of the Vampire."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE")
WILLIAM DAFOE, ACTOR: I don't think we need the writer any longer.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DAFOE: There are so many movies, so many different kinds of performances. So it's gratifying to see that people find their way to your performance.
SYLVESTER: "Almost Famous" brings both Kate Hudson and Frances McDormand into the supporting actress mix, along with "Chocolat's" Judi Dench and "Pollock's" Marsha Gay Harden. Billy Elliot's teacher, Julie Walters, makes the grade as does film-maker Stephen Daldry in the best director category, even though Elliot was not nominated for best picture.
Directing "Traffic," Steven Soderbergh, who again gets two shots at the trophy for best director: nominated as well for his work on "Erin Brockovich." Ridley Scott competes for "Gladiator" and Ang Lee celebrates the success of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
ANG LEE, DIRECTOR: That's great encouragement, of course, for the Chinese film-makers, but I think it's a great cultural event here as well.
SYLVESTER: Winners will be announced March 25th.
Sherri Sylvester, CNN Entertainment News, Hollywood.
SYDNEY: One Oscar contender who had a golden wakeup call this morning is Jeff Bridges, nominated for best supporting actor for his portrayal of a president in "The Contender."
Jeff, congratulations on this, your fourth nomination.
JEFF BRIDGES, ACTOR: Thank you, Laurin.
SYDNEY: Does it get any easier, since it is your fourth, waiting for your name to be announced?
BRIDGES: Well, to tell you the truth, I forgot that today, Tuesday, was the day that names were going to be announced. So it was a big surprise to me and a wonderful one.
SYDNEY: How did you hear about it? Was it a phone call...
BRIDGES: My publicist -- yeah, a phone call. Gene Severs (ph), my publicist, called me up and let me know. And it was wonderful. I'm making a movie now here in L.A. called "Capac," and we have two other nominees. Ed Henriques also was nominated for "The Cell," and John, our cinematographer, John Mathieson was nominated for "The Gladiator." We we're all very happy over here.
SYDNEY: Are you all going to celebrate tonight, or do you do that privately?
BRIDGES: I don't know. I got an early call tomorrow, so it probably won't be too much celebrating. A little bit.
SYDNEY: I think they'll understand if you come in late tomorrow.
SYDNEY: Jeff, you've worked with Joan Allen before in one of my favorite movies, "Tucker." Have you spoken to her yet today?
BRIDGES: No, I'm really looking forward to that -- that phone call. I'll probably talk to her right after we talk this morning.
SYDNEY: Now, you are no stranger to Washington, D.C. You have been there lobbying for many causes that you believe in. How did you research playing the part of the president?
BRIDGES: Well, I really wanted not do an impersonation of Bill Clinton or any of the other presidents, although I did look at Lyndon Johnson a bit and the Kennedys, both Bobby and John. Mario Cuomo, looked at some of his speeches.
But I really based the character mostly on my father, who always seemed quite presidential to me.
SYDNEY: And did you bring this character at home with you at night? Did you feel more powerful in your living room?
BRIDGES: Yeah, a little bit. It was wonderful. You know, everybody calling me POTUS on the set, you know, and the director, Rod Lurie, was wonderful in making believe that I actually was the president for those few moments.
SYDNEY: Mr. President, when you first read the script, do you think that it had supporting Oscar nom written all over it?
BRIDGES: Well, I didn't think in those terms really, but I remember reading that script and running through the house so excited, trying to find my wife to tell her, you know, I think we've got one. You know, this is such a wonderful, a wonderful script that Rod wrote, and then he turned out to be a wonderful director as well. I think we'll be hearing a lot -- a lot about Rod.
SYDNEY: Absolutely. Now, many of your fans may not know that you might be showing up at the Grammys one day soon, because you actually have a new album out as well.
BRIDGES: Yes, that's true. "Be Here Soon," it's called.
SYDNEY: And what is it like?
BRIDGES: Oh, it's a pretty eclectic bag. It's got, you know, some rock tunes, blues, jazz elements, country elements.
SYDNEY: Sounds good.
BRIDGES: Formed a -- I formed a record label with Michael McDonald and Chris Pelonis, and released my album, "Be Here Soon," and also Michael's album, "Blue Obsession."
SYDNEY: Now, Jeff, since you forget that today was nomination day, I would like to be the firs to remind you that March 25th you have to have a speech and you have to have a tuxedo, OK?
BRIDGES: Thank you.
SYDNEY: Just a friendly reminder.
BRIDGES: Thank you, Laurin.
SYDNEY: OK. Thanks a lot.
BRIDGES: That -- that helps. Thank you.
SYDNEY: Good luck to you.
Our term of office is over for now. In New York, I'm Laurin Sydney.
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